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New SF State scholarship for economically disadvantaged



Denize Springer
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


$100,000 gift launches Louie Loy and Leong Shee Memorial Scholarship for students who have faced adversity and hardship

SAN FRANCISCO, March 19, 2007 -- Social activist and retired Presbyterian minister Paul Louie has donated $100,000 to establish a new scholarship fund to help educationally disadvantaged students at San Francisco State University. The Northern California resident created the Louie Loy and Leong Shee Memorial Scholarship to honor his father and mother, who emigrated from China in 1882 and 1909, respectively.

The scholarships will be awarded and administered through San Francisco State's Educational Opportunity Program, which provides academic and financial assistance to low-income and educationally disadvantaged students. The support will be used for student fees, housing and living expenses. Many of the students eligible for this scholarship are, like Louie, one of the first in their family to pursue a college education.

In addition to his work as a minister, Louie was a member of the Los Angeles Human Relations Commission for 16 years. His work with poor and disenfranchised people influenced his decision to set up a scholarship. "I remember well how much difference a helping hand could mean to someone who was already working hard," he said. "I also recall the days before equal opportunity programs existed and the struggles to establish them."

"The students who will benefit from the Louie Loy and Leong Shee Memorial Scholarship have a burning desire to earn a college diploma but have struggled economically all their lives," said Penny Saffold, SF State vice president and dean of students. "Some are foster youth who don't even have the benefit of parental psychological support to help get them through. Support like this is crucial."

At a ceremony to present his gift, Louie, who holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Divinity School, recalled the sacrifices his parents made for his education and in raising 11 children. "Generations always stand on the shoulders of the ones who come before them," he said. "It is my strongest hope that students who receive this scholarship never forget where they came from, work hard to prepare themselves, and find ways to give back to their community."

SF State is the only master's-level public university serving the counties of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin. The University enrolls about 29,000 students each year and graduates about 7,000 annually. With nationally acclaimed programs in a range of fields -- from creative writing, cinema and biology to history, broadcast and electronic communication arts, theatre arts and ethnic studies -- the University's more than 150,000 graduates have contributed to the economic, cultural and civic fabric of San Francisco and beyond.


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Last modified March 19, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications